My last post was six months ago, and if you read it you know I was going through a struggle over how or if I should proceed with my writing. Well, that battle continues to rage in me, but my determination to create seems to keep winning. After three starts on full length novels, I decided that I really wanted to continue the story of my Nashville songwriters and wrote a sequel to Songwriter Night: A Musical Romance.
This book, Songwriter Showcase, wound up being almost twice as long as the first story, although the main plot still takes place in one evening.
My plan is to release the book on November 9th, and it is available for pre-order on Kindle now!
Here is the cover for the new book! Do you like it?
What's it about?
Emotions run high and jealousy reigns when the members of songwriter group night enter a talent competition against each other.
It’s been a couple months since Trish attended her first songwriter night and started her relationship with Lyle. Things have been going nicely for them but haven’t been quite as smooth for Odetta and Neil. These new relationships are put to the test when all four of them enter a big songwriting competition where the finalists will perform in a showcase in front of a panel of judges. The winner will get an offer of agent representation and a possible recording deal. Now they’re all in competition, trying to figure out how to support each other while still wanting to win.
It doesn’t help that both Lyle and Neil feel slighted because Trish and Odetta are singing songs they’ve written about former relationships. There’s also a striking young woman named Carly who could definitely snag the prize away from any of them.
Oh, and one more problem. Aiden Bronson is one of the judges.
Is the love between Trish and Lyle or Odetta and Neil strong enough to survive this tense night? No matter the outcome?
It's now my intention to do a series of these Nashville Songwriter Romance novellas, exploring the romantic and platonic relationships between the main characters from the original story and adding some new characters as it goes along.
Each book will continue to feature song lyrics, but at this point I'm not planning to do full cast audiobooks for the sequels. I would like at some point to record the songs, however. So, stay tuned for that.
If you haven't read Songwriter Night: A Musical Romance, I'm keeping the price at 99c for the ebook for now, and the audiobook is still at a low $5.25 at most audiobook retailers. It's gotten great reviews, and people seem to really enjoy it. I'm crossing my fingers for the possibility of putting it on stage as a live musical sometime next year.
What am I working on next?
I wrote Songwriter Showcase on weekends between rehearsals for two back-to-back musical productions this past summer. We just finished up Mamma Mia (at long last) two weeks ago. So sad that it's over, but so happy we finally got to do the show!
I'm about to go into rehearsals for a Christmas show that I'm choreographing and assistant directing. That'll keep me pretty busy through the remainder of the year.
Next up for Lyle, Trish and the gang will be Songwriter Session, but I need a break from them for a moment while I concentrate on marketing the existing titles. I'm planning to go back to one of the women's fiction novels that I started during the spring and see if I can make some progress on it. I'm still sending my other women's fiction novel Attitude of Grace to agents and publishers for consideration. It's a long, slow, painful process, but I have hope that this book about rediscovering yourself in mid-life will find its place in the world.
I'd love to hear from you! Comment to tell me what you think of the new book cover. What have you been reading lately? I'm always happy to answer any questions you may have. All the best to you!
I haven’t done a blog post yet this year. I’ve thought of a couple ideas. I even wrote a short one a couple weeks back about my current reading habits, but then I thought it was pointless and didn’t post it. And that’s kind of the thing with me right now, I’m second guessing my ideas. I’m second guessing everything that I write and if anyone would be at all interested in reading it, whether it’s a blog post, a tweet, a Facebook update, or a novel.
This is going to be a tie between What If It’s Us and Dear Evan Hansen. I listened to them back to back, and they had a similar feel and style to them, but I loved them both dearly. Dear Evan Hansen even had a little tiny bit of singing in it from the musical just to make it extra special. These are both great, solid YA contemporary fiction stories read by exceptional actors.
Well, I only read one whole series this year, and it was good but not what I would consider a favorite. I read a couple final books of series this year, though, so I’ll count Finale by Stephanie Garber as the amazing, magical ending to the gorgeous Caraval trilogy.
And hey, take some time to scroll through my website and see if you want to add one of my books to your 2020 TBR list.
Nearly every lecture I attended had something to do with how people perceive the actions or words of other people. Generally, our instincts are to judge harshly, to assume less of a person. “That co-worker didn’t help me because they’re lazy or doesn’t like me.” “That parent brought their sick kid to school because they love their job more than their kid.” “That student is acting up because they just want attention.” “That person thinks what I do for a living is beneath them.” It goes on and on until we have strong feelings that build a wall of frustration and anger.
What we need to do instead is assume ‘positive intent’. Everyone has a story that they are going through, right? In nearly every case, I could argue that people aren’t intentionally being mean. When people are angry or hurtful, they are usually struggling with something themselves. Someone has to rise above. Someone needs to see the bigger picture. Take a breath. Calm the urge to fight or flee. Then see if you can figure out how to address and hopefully solve the problem.
What surprised me was the intense focus on this concept throughout this massive conference. Clearly, how to choose how to fully comprehend a behavior before reacting to it is something people are hungry to understand.
Another example is from my novel Whisper of the Woods. Juniper’s uncle comes across as the villain for wanting to chop down the 1,000-year-old Red Cedar tree, but we learn that he has genuine fear of the tree based on a tragedy that happened there when he was young.
Yes, I spent four days at a conference about the care and welfare of small children, and I walked away with ways to apply what I learned not only to my day job, but to my writing and personal life. Some messages are like that – universal. I challenge you now to think about how you can apply the concept of ‘positive intent’ or ‘benefit of the doubt’ to your life. Think of how it can change the nature of your relationships with your family, friends, co-workers, etc. If you’re a writer, think how it can enhance your stories.
D. G. Driver
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